Little Acorns Deluxe
Developed by Team Pesky
Released on January 9th 2013
Sold on XBLIG for 80 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on March 17th 2013 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art of Little Acorns is bright and cheerful and is pretty attractive. Upon loading the game the first few screens and the menus are full of colour and movement with a funk soundtrack playing along.

First impressions are good, the overall art style and little touches to the graphics make this feel like a pretty solid game already.
Trial experience
Jumping straight in to a single player game (noting that a second player can join in) you're presented with the first level (this is a platformer game) and the main character, a little squirrel, drops to the ground. A short tutorial prompt tells you what to do and then it's time to get running and jumping around the level.

The next few levels introduce new core gameplay concepts each time, teaching you how to play the full game as you go. I like games that use these kind of in-game learning experiences as opposed to tutorials as it feels more natural for the player and feels less like you're trying to tell them how to play your game.

After playing through a bunch of levels I've learnt to collect the acorns, then collect fruit, jump on enemies (which are relatively harmless), swing on ropes and round up baby squirrels. There's been no real challenge to the levels but that's pretty standard for platformers like this.

The end-of-level screen I particularly like showing how many acorns you've collected and shows them falling in to the tree in which the family of squirrels live. It also shows a clear indication of how far off the next stage you are with a line that is marked on the tree.

After playing another level my time is up. I've spent the whole 8 minutes just progressing through these first few levels of the game.
Overall thoughts
The art style and quality of the graphics and music is generally higher than that of most other games on XBLIG. There's clearly a lot of time and effort has been put in to things like particle effects and little graphical touches that make the game feel less flat.

Unfortunately the gameplay in the trial is pretty basic, the rope mechanic could potentially introduce some more complex levels later on but it's hard to imagine the game being much harder in the later levels.

Definitely one of the higher quality platformers on XBLIG but personally I'd prefer there to be more of a challenge in the trial.